If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.
Working in music has provided me with a lot of opportunities to speak with young people about their experiences with music. If you ever get the chance to do this, be it with a sibling or someone else, I highly recommend doing it. Young adults who are still amazed at the fact there is music beyond what their parents enjoy and whatever is currently hot at radio are amongst the most dedicated music fans on the planet. They consume everything, old and new, simply because they want to know what else exists. Some stuff they enjoy, and thanks to the age of streaming they can burn through most artists’ discographies the same day they discover them if they so desire, but the vast majority of material is in one ear and lost in space. It becomes the kind of thing they tell their friends they’ve heard so they don’t risk sounding uncool at the next big party, but in reality they only know that one song someone shared on Twitter that one time. Their video was probably cool.
Anyways, what I love about conversations with young music fans is their willingness to spin practically anything at least once. They don’t put much weight in names or genres, at least not at first, and I believe that allows them to enjoy music in a way far more pure than our consumption as jaded adults. We hear a name, or a genre, or even a track title, and we make judgments. We think, “Oh, this is going to be another one of these artists/bands,” and immediately draw some conclusion. It sucks, and it’s something that is incredibly hard to find a way around. In fact, I don’t have a solution. At 28, my plan is to simply say yes to everything I am able and experience whatever comes my way. Sometimes that results in epic post-rock amateurs doing their best to spin new versions out of ideas everyone who has ever heard Explosions In The Sky could recognize, other times that means experiencing some truly, truly terrible souther hip-hop. It’s a roll of the dice every time, but it’s always an experience that gives me a good story.
A band with a name like Fit For An Autopsy is probably not one you would expect to see accompanying a headline like ‘Monday Motivation,’ but if that is the case then you’ve been several under-appreciating the world of modern metal. For the better part of a decade Fit For An Autopsy have been finding unique ways to express themselves through the heaviest and most aggressive music this side of Sweden’s black metal scene. Critics writing about their music often use descriptive phrases like ’skull-crushingly heavy’ or ‘relentlessly brutal,’ but that doesn’t really do the band and their art justice. That isn’t to say such phrases are untrue, because they often fit the sound of a FFAA release to a ’T,’ but it’s the way the band delivers their take on heavy music that makes their art something everyone should find time to consume.
Without naming any band or artist specifically, there are many in the world of music today who are getting by on having just enough talent to write a good hook or create a catchy riff. Their music is fine, but after one or two releases it becomes clear they are pretty much creating the same sound over and over with only slight variation. It’s as if they believe changing things too much will scare fans and their money away, which is the one thing they fear more than anything else. Creative freedom be damned! As long as people keep asking for the band or artist to be one thing they will never attempt to be anything more because they have no desire to evolve in the first place. The fact they made it big in the first place is a miracle, and they will ride the idea that first made them popular until long after album sales have taken a nosedive.
I don’t hate artists like those described above. In fact, there are many I enjoy precisely because they can be relied upon to create solid albums every time they enter the studio, but I never look to those acts to create records that will forever stand the test of time. In order to create that kind of release an artist or group must challenge themselves, as well as their listeners, by taking bold and unexpected chances with their music. They must throw caution to the wind and see what happens when they attempt to do something other than whatever has been working for them up to that point. It’s the kind of thing that only happens when someone or some group put their careers on the line for the sake of creative expression, and even then there is no guarantee the final results will work in their favor. They rarely do, if we’re being completely honest, but for those who pull it off their is an ever-increasingly window of opportunity for growth and continued success that few ever experience.
Fit For An Autopsy could easily be a band that created the same good, but never truly great album for their entire career and they would have likely found a way to make things work for at least as long as they have now, if not longer. Fortunately for everyone in the world of metal that is not the kind of band they want to be, and with the release of their new album they have final taken the steps and risks necessary to produce something really special. Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell is a thrilling release that captures the brute strength and unabashed sincerity of Fit For An Autopsy’s music in a way no prior creation of theirs has ever been able to covey. It’s proof that being true to yourself and doing what feels right for you is the smart play when forced to choose between creative integrity and financial success. While money may be nice in the short term, there is no feeling worse than knowing you could be doing something better than you are if only you had the gull to make a change. Fit For An Autopsy have no desire to live with regret, so they poured their all into Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell and everyone who hears the album will be better off as a result.
If you’re reading this today thinking there is no way in (absolute) hell you could find inspiration in metal, let me be the first to tell you that you are wrong. Like any style music performed well, great metal has an ability to instill a sense of confidence in its consumer that is possessed by no other medium. It’s as if knowing that the music you’re hearing is what the artist wanted to convey somehow makes it okay for us to do whatever it is we believe is needed in our own lives. I don’t know why life works that way, but it does and I am forever thankful. I am also thankful for Fit For An Autopsy, because it is their latest album that has given me the strength to do what is needed in my own life as of late. I can be a better me because they are working to be a better them, and I think anyone who experiences their new album will feel the same.
This week – be bold. Take risks you have been avoiding for days, weeks, or months and do that thing you know you should. Also, buy the new Fit For An Autopsy album. It’s really good.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.